Low self-esteem is a serious issue in young girls, and a topic that I have addressed many times on my blogs, and in life. The effects of low self-esteem run deeper than most people imagine, and can cause irreparable harm to a woman’s emotional well-being years down the road. Beauty Pageants are a competition of ‘beauty‘, a judgment of looks and image that in essence decides who is beautiful and who is not. These competitions are a major cause of low self-esteem in girls today, and need to be addressed on a very serious level.
The popularity of beauty pageants has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Long gone are the days of the teenage “Georgia Peach” pageants, replaced with ‘Little Miss Perfect” and “Toddlers in Tiaras.” The fight for beauty has seeped into our young children and is creating countless issues that will be prominent in these children in the years to come.
Girls as young as 4 and 5 years-old are being ‘forced‘ to succumb to spray tans and hair bleaching in the name of beauty. They are being made to look like skanky young adults, and are being robbed of their childhood in the whole sickening process. I used the word “Forced” because I don’t believe that any 4 or 5 year-old child would choose to go through what these young pageant girls must go through each and every day. Though many of them probably view the whole charade as “Fun” I believe that it is more due to the fact that they are being told it’s fun, then the actual enjoyment of the situation.
Now, I have no issue with pageants themselves. Beauty Pageants can be great for building confidence and self-esteem. Young girls having a chance to show-off their talents and intelligence is a wonderful thing. What I have an issue with is what these pageants have become over time… No longer is a beauty pageant about being cute, being talented, or being intelligent. These pageants are about bleach blonde unnatural hair, fake tans, false teeth and a Barbie doll image that doesn’t exist. I ask these parents of pageant girls,
What are you teaching your children?
The image you are creating for your daughter is unattainable, and because of this falsity it is bound to have disastrous results. You can tell a little girl wining doesn’t matter until your blue in the face, but through turning her into something she is not you are speaking volumes in the opposite direction… and that is exactly what you are doing while you are spray tanning you child and bleaching her hair… you are telling her that the way she is, is not good enough… No matter what you try to say otherwise… that is the message you are sending, consciously or not!
I have been asked numerous times if I think these pageants should be banned, and my answer is always “Yes“. I think they have to be banned, for the time being at least. I don’t think that these parents have a clue the damage they are doing to their children and without the outside world stepping in to stop it, I don’t think they ever will. These mothers of pageant girls easily defend their actions no matter how much factual information they are faced with to show them the damage they are creating. Parents will defend their children by listing the benefits that pageants provide, benefits such as; Confidence, self-esteem, poise, and drive for success. But they fail to consider the consequences that surround the teaching of such false values and shallow views. Pageants now a days don’t teach girls about confidence, they teach girls that having a “Barbie Doll” image is the way of the world. They don’t teach self-esteem, they teach girls that who they are is not good enough for success, that beauty is skin deep and that without it they are nothing. They don’t teach poise, they teach children that being fake is society’s preference, and being who you are inside is going to get you no where. Is this the lesson we want our children to have??? Is this the reality we truly want them to live in?
I could rant and rave for hours on the effects of pageants, but as I said it is not the actual pageant itself, it is what these competitions have become….
My daughter is beautiful. She has light brown hair, a gap between her teeth and often a filthy face. She toddles around the house getting into trouble and making a great big mess. To me she is perfect just the way she is… I would never consider bleaching her hair, or spraying on a tan just to gain a trophy to place in her room.
Should my daughter ever suffer from low self-esteem I will reassure her of her beauty by placing her in front of a mirror and pointing out her good traits. I will remind her of how smart she is, and the talents she has, and the health she should be thankful for. I will help her feel secure by acknowledging that everyone looks and acts differently, and I will be sure she knows that images in magazines are airbrushed fakes.
How can you deny your daughter the joy of who she truly is inside? That is the part of her that makes her unique.
Perhaps these parents are living vicariously through their children. I believe that each has security issues of their own that they are trying to appease by turning their children into their image of perfection… They need to open their eyes and realize that their children are wonderful just the way they are, and that they can not take back years of their own insecurity by creating a “Barbie Doll” that is not real!
Teaching your daughter that being beautiful is a sure road to fame and success is only enhancing the issues we have in the world today. It is true society values beauty, but shouldn’t we as parents be trying to change that view? We certainly shouldn’t be encouraging it, as this is only worsening the issue at hand.
Look now at your children, look deep into their eyes, Can you honestly tell me that they are not amazing JUST THE WAY THEY ARE?
So yes, I say ban the pageants. Stop this ‘abuse‘. Children should be taught to love themselves as they are, not forced to live a false image that does not exist. Teach your daughters to respect themselves, accept themselves and most importantly be themselves… or this issue is going to repeat itself as it has in you!
Here is a great link about the effects these pageants can have on our young girls, please check it out: http://www.momlogic.com/2009/04/child_beauty_pageants.php
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